“After reaching 2100 USCF in 2015, my chess progress stagnated, but over these past few months I was able to put all the pieces together and reach 2200. My real breakthrough tournament was 3 months ago at the Golden State Open, where I scored 2.5/3 against FMs in the last 3 rounds to win the U2300 prize. After that, I knew it was just a matter of time until I reached NM, and in 2 more tournaments I had achieved my goal. It’s taken a while, but I’m glad I finally got there.”
Congratulations to Derek Zhang of Bellevue, Washington, who achieved a 2200 U.S. Chess rating as a result of scoring 5 of 7 points in the U2200 section at the 11th Annual Philadelphia Open, Philadelphia, Pa., April 12-16. Here is a link to the crosstable: http://www.uschess.org/msa/XtblMain.php?201704167042.2
11th Annual Clark Harmon Memorial Open (April 1-2): The Harmon Memorial currently rotates between Oregon and Washington each year and was in Oregon this year. Clark was one of the Northwest’s premier players and ambassadors of the game for many decades. See more information about Clark here and here. After the original Neil Dale Memorial Open was cancelled due to the weather, the unique features of that tournament (one section, G/120;d5, under prizes at U2100, U1900, U1700, U1500, and U1300/unrated, bonus upset prize) were transferred over to this year’s Harmon Memorial (the Neil Dale Memorial was rescheduled with the Portland Spring Open and used the Spring Open format). This year’s Harmon Memorial got thirty-five players. Micah Smith was the TD on Saturday and Mike Morris was the TD on Sunday. Mike Lilly helped with registration on Saturday. Mike Lilly and Mike Morris both gave a short remembrance of Clark before round 1. FM Corey Russell, a player from Medford, finished first with 4.5/5 and won $210. Corey also qualifies for the Oregon Invitational Tournament as the top Oregon finisher. However, he certainly would have qualified for the Invitational anyway based on rating and will almost certainly qualify for the higher level State Championship which runs alongside the Invitational. NM Matt Zavortink and NM William Lapham tied for second with 4/5 and split the second and third place prizes, each winning $114. H.G. Pitre, a player from the Seattle area, Gavin Zhang, and Scott Levin split the 1st U2100, 1st U1900, and 2nd U2100 prizes with 3.5/5, each winning $65. H.G. also gained around 70 rating points. Alan Rhoade and Isaac Vega split the 2nd U1900 prize, each winning $27. Alan graciously donated his winnings to the Harmon Memorial Fund which we use to have a higher prize fund for the Harmon Memorial. Isaac also gained around 50 rating points. Ralph Anthony, a player from the Seattle area, won the 1st U1700 prize of $70 with 3/5 and gained around 50 rating points. Roshen Nair, Brian Berger, and Abbie Wu split the 2nd U1700 prize with 2.5/5, each winning $18. Abbie also gained around 125 rating points, achieved a new peak rating, and achieved her 5th, 4th Category norm and thus was awarded the 4th Category Title (her performance was good enough that she achieved 3rd and 2nd Category norms as well). Roshen also achieved his 5th, 3rd Category norm and thus was awarded the 3rd Category Title. Zoey Tang won the 1st U1500 prize of $70 with 2.5/5 and gained around 85 rating points and a new peak rating. Jerrold Richards won the 2nd U1500 prize of $53 with 2/5. Harry Buerer won the 1st U1300/unrated prize of $70 with 2/5. Austin Tang won the 2nd U1300/unrated prize of $53 with 1.5/5. Micah Smith had the idea of adding a bonus upset prize to at least one of our tournaments and it makes the most sense to have an upset prize at a big one section tournament. Since it’s a bonus prize that players can win in addition to the other prizes, we decided we should be a little more restrictive as to who is eligible for the prize and we decided that you have to have an established US Chess rating (played at least 26 rated games) to be able to win the prize. We also decided not to count draws as half of an upset as is sometimes done. Arliss Dietz won the bonus upset prize of $50 by beating a player rated 356 points higher. There was one player playing in his first US Chess rated tournament, Ray Bourke from Corvallis.